The Great Plains Zoo

and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is pleased to announce that the Reticulated Giraffe calf born in September has been named “Gerald.”

Last month, the Zoo launched a contest to name the giraffe calf.  During a week-and-a-half period, 61 names were submitted.  Over the two weeks that followed, the public was invited to vote for their favorite name.  In the final days of the contest, Zoo officials saw a surge in voting, but the race remained a dead heat between two names: “Gerald” and “Stelten.”  When the contest became too close to call, Zoo officials decided to hold a run-off election to determine the winner.  Over 1,600 votes were cast in the contest, with “Gerald” coming out on top.

The winning name was submitted by Katie Palmer, 5, and Addie Palmer, 3, daughters of Steve and Gretchen Palmer of Rapid City.  They submitted the name “Gerald” in honor of their grandpa, who brings them to the Zoo.

“They wanted to get involved because they love animals and they thought the name ‘Gerald’ sounded like a good name for a giraffe,” said Gretchen Palmer.

For their efforts, Katie and Addie had an opportunity to meet a giraffe up-close, and talk to the Zookeepers who care for the Zoo’s giraffe herd.

Through this contest, the Zoo raised over $1,700.  All proceeds will go directly to benefit the animals at the Great Plains Zoo, a non-profit organization.

“People were really interested in our baby giraffe, and we had a great response to this contest,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “We are very grateful for the generosity of everyone who participated and we look forward to watching ‘Gerald’ grow into a tall, graceful giraffe.”

“Gerald” and his mother “Libby” can be seen daily in the Zoo’s Giraffe Building.
The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last admission at 4 p.m. Visit the Zoo online at or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.